Dukakis, Nielsen and Baker Will Inhabit Plays by Durang and Lucas at the Public

News   Dukakis, Nielsen and Baker Will Inhabit Plays by Durang and Lucas at the Public The Public has announced initial casting for its upcoming productions of Christopher Durang's world premiere Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them and Craig Lucas' The Singing Forest, which will play engagements at the downtown venue this spring.
Olympia Dukakis
Olympia Dukakis Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Nicholas Martin has been announced to direct Durang's satirical work, which will feature the talents of Amir Arison (Queens Boulevard), David Aaron Baker (Dead Man's Cell Phone), Kristine Nielsen (Crazy Mary) and John Pankow (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie).

The world-premiere production of Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them begins performances March 24 and continues through April 26. Opening night is April 6.

Why Torture Is Wrong, according to press notes, "tells the story of a young woman suddenly in crisis: is her new husband, whom she married when drunk, a terrorist? Or just crazy? Or both? Is her father's hobby of butterfly collecting really a cover for his involvement in a shadow government? Why does her mother enjoy going to the theatre so much? Does she seek mental escape, or is she insane? Honing in on our private terrors both at home and abroad, Durang oddly relieves our fears in this black comedy for an era of yellow, orange, and red alerts."

Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis has been announced to star in the Public Theater presentation of Craig Lucas' The Singing Forest, which begins performances April 7 under the direction of Mark Wing-Davey. Opening night is April 27, and performances will continue through May 17.

(Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher, who also helmed the Broadway production of The Light in the Piazza [featuring a book by Lucas], had originally been announced to direct the production. A reason was not provided for Sher's departure.) The Singing Forest, is Lucas' decade-spanning work that travels "from today's world of Starbucks, celebrity and therapy to Freud's inner circle in 1930's Vienna and to Paris at the end of WWII. It's the story of three generations of a family whose lives are intertwined despite the secrets that have torn them apart."

Additional casting and creative duties for both productions are expected shortly. Tickets for Why Torture Is Wrong and The Singing Forest begin sale Feb. 20.

For further information visit PublicTheater.

The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette Street in Manhattan.